tv [untitled] May 12, 2012 2:30am-3:00am EDT
over 3 million around the country and supporters and we're going to mobilize. we may not be able to get it started in washington, but we can get it started outside of the beltway and at the same time, develop legislation, legislative proposals, turning these recommendations into bills that can be moved into the congress. it's not going to happen before the election. i don't think a whole lot's going to happen before the election. we need to create momentum and that's what we're committed to doing. >> i would just add that we will be working with the national women's law center and the older women's league. wonderful organizations who are, have been advocates for decades on these kinds of issues and will be partners with us in going forward. it's going to take all of us and
particularly those in states and communities who are members of these national and local affiliate organizations. >> i'd also mention the center for community change will be working with the women's organizations on a grass roots campaign as well and you know, just and the labor movement. the aflcio passed a resolution at their recent meeting that it's time to increase benefits in social security because of the near depression like recession. in fact, i heard paul krueger mann refer to it as a recession. but we are recovering and so i think we can look for good times ahead, but i think this severe economic downturn will have a lasting effect. that is one reason to increase benefits for everyone and that's a position that the aflcio has
taken. so there are many, many activists groups out there that will be working on these kinds of proposals. >> one of the things that's really exciting about this, is that so many of the activists i talk to are bombarded. we are saturated in this country with messages that we've got to cut, cut, cut. social spending programs. we've got to cut social security the people that i talk to, they know that that's not true. but they don't necessarily have i guess i would say the language. to counter these false messages and i think that our report is going to go a long way to counter these false messages because it is not simply saying, oh, no, that's not true and by the way, proactively, we can and
must improve benefits. we're in the 21st century. here's how we can do it. we can definitely pay for it and keep the social security system solvent for 75 years out. so what's really exciting to me is that we are moving forward with a proactive campaign to help us counter this bombardment of inaccurate negative messages. >> yes. >> well, there's also the 35 to 40 million member aarp organization, which of course is fairly important factor on this issue and on the hill here. isn't it equally important to try to talk to their folks and get all of the 35, 40 million members asking their leadership to take a more aggressive position in advocating for this update on social security benefits particularly since a majority of members as i
understand it are women? >> well, you're absolutely right and we have been in close communication with aarp. the fact that aarp has a represe representative here. i'm heartened by that. and just so you all know, when we leave here, we're going to march back to our office to our board room. many of the organizations that have been mentioned will join in a strategy session to launch this effort. so this isn't the end of process. it's really a, it's a big step. developing this important paper, but we're going to get together at 11:30 and spend a couple of hours figuring out what we, how we move forward. and i'll close if there are no other questions, on one of the pay fors that dr. hartman mentioned. oh, you have a question? >> i have a comment with now. and manage the political action
committee. we and many allies are asking questions about social security. it's and their opposition to cuts and their support -- after the 2012 election who will help move this forward. many are are asking those questions and hopefully be strengthening the incoming officials. >> i'd also like to recognize congressman deutsche as one of our champions. we didn't mention him earlier, but he is one of several others we could mention as being just the kind of candidate we're looking for in terms of strong support for social security. >> and senator sanders, another incredible, he's the only one
that's on msnbc more than you are. there's another question. >> discuss the proposals with the obama administration. you think his administration would support. >> we have discussed some of the proposals in a meeting with the office of public engagement and we'll be talking in about a week with those involved in the obama re-election campaign. let me just close by one of the comments made about a pay for. there's always that committee about how do you pay for these improvements. she mentioned lifting the cap. a lot of us in this room, we probably know that fica tax is only applied to right now. goes up a little bit every year to the first 110,600 in wages.
and by lifting that cap, congressman deutsche has been very active in that effort. by lifting that cap, you can bring a lot of revenue in to that program. around the county tr i, there are many who don't know there was a cap. and when i mention the cap, they don't, many time, they don't even know what i'm talking about because they've never made anything close to $110,600 a year. they describe it as a loophole. and so i think there's, i think when people realize there is a cap, it would be lifted, raised. maybe eliminated. it would solve a lot of
next on cspan 3, the treasury department, agency's effort, the senate arms service -- possible cuts to the defense budget. the senate preview of the nato summit in chicago. >> i thought it was important to write a book that took people seriously so the movements that elected obama, how did they build over time? obama didn't come out of nowhere? also, the tea party movement which didn't come out of nowhere.
to look at from a social movement. >> on afterwards, former white house adviser van jones on social movements in america today. saturday night at 10:00 eastern. also, the american spectator founder contends that modern liberalism is flawed. sunday night at 11:00. part of book tv this weekend on cspan 2. cutting back in an age where crime is global in ways that it was not ten years ago. and by that, i mean whether it be organized crime, gangs, they are globalized and consequently, that entity that has a best chance for addressing globalized criminal activity is the fbi and
conseque consequently, if you cut us from doing it at a point in time where much of the crime is globalized, it's a double hit in some sense. >> on wednesday, the fbi director testified on capitol hill about the negative impact of budget cuts. political correctness and renewing the foreign intelligence surveillance act. watch online at the cspan video library. it's one of many discussions we covered this week. treasury department undersecretary for terrorism, david cohen, outlined his department's role in fighting terrorism thursday at the center for strategic and international studies in washington. he credited the treasury department's targeting of al-qaeda's finances as one of the pivotal reasons for its decline. he also discusses national security efforts in syria.
this is just over an hour. >> good morning and welcome. my name's andrew schwartz and i'm in our external relations department here. we will be live tweeting from this event. i have the privilege today of welcoming two very distinguished public servants. who have served our country well. dave cohen is the undersecretary of terrorism. undersecretary of the treasury for intelligence and we can think of no better foreign tell us about the role. my colleague was basically this job in a former administration plus, something like that. then juan went to the white house and was deputy national security adviser.
we owe both of these officials a great debt for their service to this nation. i'll turn it over to juan for this fascinating discussion. thank you to all of you for coming today. in particular, david, for agreeing to do this. this is a great honor for us, for me. i will tell you openly and honestly and those of you who have followed the work we've done here, i tend to invite not only high profile government officials, but also friends. to come join me and i count david among one of my friends. this is a great discussion to have because i think as we read the newspapers every day, we see the importance of treasury as a core element of u.s. national security. and not just as a tool of national security, but strategically as a part of how the u.s. government now thinks about the use of financial power and situation.
and david is now leading as second undersecretary the office that is the vanguard of that strategy, of those tools. the vanguard of those global elements of influence that really put treasury at the center of the core. whether we're talking about iran and north korea, al-qaeda, transnational organized crime, drug trafficking, treasury not only has a seat at the table, but is often the center of debate as to what we're doing about those issues so i'm very happy to have david here with us to talk about the evolution of treasury's role and to get into some of the thorny issues that the u.s. is dealing with. so david, welcome. thank you, again. >> great to be here. >> david, one of the things i find fascinating is the fact that there's a lot of continuity in the evolution of these powers and efforts. you in fact were at the treasury
department in 1999 through to the beginning of the bush administration. and then you've come back first as assistant secretary, now as the undersecretary. can you talk to us about how you've seen the evolution of treasury and treasury's role and how it now shapes national security in some of these key issues? >> sure. thank you for the kind words. i'll get to your question in a moment, but it is a pleasure to be here to talk about the role of the efforts of the u.s. and i'm mindful that what i'm able to do today is very much dependent on the work of those who came before me. i was at the treasury department
from '99 to '01. tat time, the treasury department was involved in the national security e lis it finance world to some example to a lesser extent than we are today. we were at the time the lead on the financial task force, the international standard setting body for anti money launding. we were responsible for regulating the domestic anti money laundering for the financial crimes enforcement network and sanctions. and when i came to treasury, i came at a time when larry summers had just become the
secretary. he really elevated the importance of anti money laundering as not just a domestic issue, but as an international issue and saw the threat of money laundering internationally as something the treasure ary department should be involved in. so we pursued those issues for the two years that i was at treasury and the issue began to gain some greater attention both in our government and internationally. i left in july of 2001 as this was developing, but hadn't really taken hold. i then came back in 2009. in the meantime, the part of treasury that i now lead was completely transformed. we lost all of our law enforcement agencies, the secret service, atf, kus tcustoms, buts
something that has sort of fed our growth as an important player in our security. that's two new offices. a policy office that is specifically dedicated to developing innovative approaches to combatting elicit finance and an intelligence shop. we now at the treasury department have our own intelligence unit that is comprised of analysts whose day in day out mission is to develop financial intelligence to help us understand the networks that are involved in a variety of elicit conduct. whether it's narcotics trafficking, terrorist financing, transnational organized crime, weapons proliferation, these analysts working with others in the intelligence community, help us
understand where we should be targeting our efforts. so adding on top of the preexisting regulatory responsib responsibleties that we have, the policy shop and intel shop, we now are able to not only be much more effective in combatting finance dmesically, but we're able to take it internationally in a way that is quite useful in pursuing u.s. foreign policy and national security goals. we're able to talk to foreign finance ministries. foreign financial institutions. foreign ministries about the importance of combatting elicit finance and using that as a way to address our most important foreign policy and national security goals. whether it's terrorism, weapons proliferation, transnational organized crime.
the power we are now able to extend internationally and the ability to attract complimentary actions by foreign governments and institutions like the eeu and through fataf, also, has led to i think a very happy consequence, which has that wen the most difficult foreign policy problems are being addressed and the most difficult national security issues are being debated, we are looked to as a tool that can be used to help solve these problems and help promote experiences. long answer to a short question, we now have the expertise, the tools, authorities and the credibility nationally to be able to be a very effective tool
to promote u.s. national security interests. >> a great answer and a layman's way of thinking about it to feed off of what you said was between diplomacy, military power, k. can we dive in now to some of the key thorny issues? this week, we've had a lot of attention on al-qaeda. we had the failed plot of the disrupted plot out of yemen. lot of discussion about the death of bin laden, given the one-year anniversary. let's talk about al-qaeda's financing especially as it evolves. it seems that al-qaeda core is not only beleaguered, but is having quite a bit of trouble financing itself and the network. but you have the rise of the affiliates in a more financing
where with all for the organization. kidnapping for ransom, criminal activity, a whole host of other ways the network itself is financing itself. can you talk about some of those trends and what treasury's thinking about? how to combat this evolution? >> and it's you know, sort of follow on your first question about the evolution of my office. i am the undersecretary for financial intelligence, although the offices named office of terrorism and financial intelligence for a reason which has that when it was created in 2004, the principle focus was going after terrorist financing. we have been doing that quite aggressi aggressively and relentlessly pr before the creation of the office and since the office was created and as you know,
al-qaeda today, the core, the al-qaeda that is holed up in pakistan, is in a much weaker state than it was certainly in 2001 through sort of 2009. in part, it has to do with actions taken by others. but in part, it's due to the effective use of our sanctions authority that has led to a substantial decrease in the financial support for al-qaeda. when we designate supporters who are raising money, moving money for al-qaeda, that has the effect of making it much more difficult for those individuals to operate. certainly in the united states where it is a crime to do any business with these people.
but one of the things, institutions that are not obliged to run by u.s. law. to screen their transactions so that they are certain they're not facilitating any transactions for individuals that we have designated for being involved in terrorist financing. that is prevented al-qaeda from using the formal financial network to move money, to raise money, to spend money and that has had a tremendous impact on al-qaeda cores financial situation. but they're not completely constitute and one of the areas we are very much focused today is kidnapping for ransom, the role of these al-qaeda
affiliates, whether it's aqim the affiliate in yemen, al shabaab in somalia. usinging kidnapping for ransom is way too raise substantial amounts of money. we're talking millions of dollars. >> i think we have seen aqim in particular since 2008 raising tens of millions of dollars through kidnapping for ransom. these are big hits. big dollar amounts. these individual kidnaps episodes. >> and that's much harder to affect with the house of treasury tools, right? >> it's more difficult to affect with the tool of designations. although we have the authority and have used the authority to try to designate individuals who are involved in for instance in
piracy, which is sort of an analog to this, off the coast of somalia. to the extent that we can identify individuals who are the money men behind the operations. we can designate them and try and disrupt their ability to get access to their funds in the formal financial sector, but our tools are broader than just designation. and in the kidnapping for ransom realm, we are embarking on an effort to try and persuade our allies to adopt the policy of the u.s. has had r for a long time. which is that the u.s. government will not pay ransoms and will not give thinks of value as a concession to kidnappers. it is a difficult policy to implement in the, in each
instance because there is someone who is being held hosta hostage, it is long standing u.s. policy and policy that i know the president is himself firmly committed to, which is that the u.s. government will not pay ransom. the effectiveness is that we have seen that hostage taker, kidnappers, aqim or others, are less likely to take americans as hostage because they recognize that there's not a pot of gold at the end of this enterprise. there are others who don't subscribe to this policy. there are countries that pay ransom. organizations that pay ran somes. we are very much focused on
trying to use our purr swasive ability along with our designation tools to get others to adopt a policy that is the same as ours, essentially. so, we are using diplomacy, we're using law enforcement, information sharing efforts. we use as you know, there are good examples of our use of military force when appropriate to free hostages. >> event in somalia. >> exactly. >> but the nishtive that we are undertaking to try and take the money out of kidnapping for ransom, take the incentive out of it, is hugely important because these are, this is the leading edge of terrorist financing today. sort of analogized it to the
sup superpac of terrorist financing. you have these big chunks of money coming in all at once. >> interesting. let's talk about iran where treasury, treasury's financial pressure campaign has become a central component of the engagement with iran the central hope for the change of behavior on the ukrainirai iranian evidee economy has been hurt, which started in '05, '06 and has strengthened over time. can can you talk to us about and the first instance, where you see the financial pressure takinging us and i think the fundamental question being whether or not financial pressure at the time you've helped fashion will change iranian behavior at